The role of a night manager is not a one-size-fits-all. A night manager’s role varies depending upon a city’s nightlife and social economy. Allison stresses that a nighttime manager should recognize the value of partnerships and communication to serve as an asset to government, hospitality business operators and the community. COVID-19 has exponentially increased the work of night managers. With ever-changing regulations for public health, it is essential that there be a point of contact to help businesses adapt, understand and be compliant to the new changes. Night managers have served in this role, acting like a hub in the wheel to build connection and share resources. Although there is no telling when the pandemic will subside, Allison is certain that there will always be a need for a “third place” provided by social venues. Current consumer behavior demonstrates that people are more likely to stay close to home, but as more social options become available, social districts may be restored as regional, national and global tourism destinations.
Allison Harnden is the Nighttime Economy Manager for the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She oversees nightlife planning and management strategies while coordinating with department services, policies, and resources to provide safe, vibrant and sustainable social venues citywide. Allison also served as former Vice President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) for approximately 20 years, where she mentored more than 45 cities on how to create safe social spaces.